Time for Golden’s spin cycle

Posted 8/7/19

I bet you didn’t know that your life has been effected by a volcanic eruption on an Indonesian island in 1815 that led to a crop failure in Europe in 1860 that caused the deaths of lots of horses …

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Time for Golden’s spin cycle


I bet you didn’t know that your life has been effected by a volcanic eruption on an Indonesian island in 1815 that led to a crop failure in Europe in 1860 that caused the deaths of lots of horses by starvation. Yeah, neither did I. But those events led to a German baron named Karl von Drais coming up with something that could be used for transportation just in case the horse population never recovered. It was in 1818 that the guy patented the first commercially successful human powered two wheeled machine that was the forerunner to today’s bicycle.

The thing was kind of weird and was called either a draisine or velocipede. It didn’t have any pedals, you just propelled it by pushing it with your feet on the ground, kind of like Fred Flintstone would, but it’s inventor was able to do an eight mile trek on his first journey in less than an hour.

Well, since those days there have been literally thousands of changes and innovations that make today’s high end bicycles real technological marvels. They have been in production in one form or another since before our city of Golden was even conceived. So, although I’m not quite old enough to have been there to see it myself, I would say it’s a safe bet that people have been riding them on our streets since the town got a name.

If you live here, you know that this is a town for cyclists. Bicyclists and motorcyclists alike. If it runs on two wheels, we have an abundance of them here in Golden. We also have an abundance of shops selling and servicing them and the riders to fill the streets with them. That’s why whenever there is some kind of big pro bicycle race, it usually finds it’s way to our fair town for one stage or another.

We have one of those coming up soon, but this year it’s going to be a part of a real groundbreaking event that my end up being an important footnote in sports history. It’s the 2019 Colorado Classic pro bicycle race. Stage three will be happening here in Golden on Saturday, Aug. 24.

OK, so a bit of the race’s history here. It was started back in 2017 as a men’s and women’s race and was run like that for two years. It’s a four stage race that takes place in different parts of the state on different days.

What makes it different and historic this year is that it will just be a women-only race with prize money $5000 higher than the men’s prize for last year. It’s a $75,000 prize this year, which sets the bar for equality in women’s sports. It also sets a higher standard as it is the only women’s stand-alone stage race on the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) calendar and USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour.

You can get to see 100 of the top female cyclists in the world racing on some pretty challenging routes. There will also be live streaming coverage of the entire race. The first stage will be in Steamboat Springs, the second in Avon, third here in Golden and the fourth stage in Denver.

Of course, it’s the Golden stage of the race that those of us that live here are probably most interested in. It’s going to be seven laps around town and the vicinity and will last from 11:30 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m.

The route starts at the Golden Arch on Washington Avenue, heads south up the hill and turns left on 18th Street then goes two blocks to Ford Street and turns left again. Down Ford Street to 13th Street, turns right and follows that as it becomes 32nd Avenue. Then it runs down 32nd to McIntyre Street, north to Table Mountain Parkway, circles around to 44th Avenue, heads west back into Golden where that becomes 10th Street, turns left back onto Washington Avenue to the arch again.

As I mentioned, it will do that lap seven times so you can hang out downtown and watch the pack go by again and again. You can even grab a table at one of our outdoor dining establishments and have lunch or cocktails while you watch the race. The finish line is the “Welcome to Golden” arch, so downtown is the place to be.

OK, so I know bicycle racing enthusiasts are pretty thrilled about this, but the rest of you make a note of the route. Road closures will be in effect through the race times and you may want to plan accordingly.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com


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